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TO THE READER.
MANY friends, both in Europe and America, have frequently urged me to arrange a collection of my games, which they assured me would meet with a kindly reception from Chess players generally. But continued contests during the past twelve months would have precluded my complying with so flattering a request, had it not been for the assistance rendered me by my friend Herr Löwenthal. The copious notes with which this volume is enriched are mainly due to his skill and assiduity as an analyst, and will amply repay the perusal of every lover of our noble game.
In the arrangement of this work, a rule has been adopted of giving, as far as possible, the best of my games. This rule, however, has been ignored in respect to Matches and Blindfold contests, which it was thought advisable to give entire ; thus many parties are introduced which might otherwise have been omitted. It is for the reader to express his opinion on the judiciousness of the selection; I can only solicit his courteous consideration.
The circumstances which have led to the publication of the present volume may be stated in a few words. The Editor was frequently solicited by members of the metropolitan clubs to publish a collection of Mr. Morphy's games, and when this was seconded by the American champion himself, it was impossible to refuse the flattering suggestion. And it is with feelings of great satisfaction that he returns his very hearty thanks to Mr. Morphy for the liberal aid which he has throughout extended to the undertaking.
The volume is now before the public. That the games contained in it will be a welcome addition to the literature of Chess, he feels assured. Of himself he has only to say, that to the task of analysing and annotating them, he has devoted some months of close and patient, though cheerful toil, in order to render the work worthy of a permanent place in every Chess player's library.
In analysing the games, he has necessarily availed himself of the works of previous authors; and, as it would have been tedious to repeat their names constantly in foot-notes, he here desires to render his especial acknowledgments to Messrs. Heydebrand, Jaenisch, Lange, Lewis, Walker, Staunton, and Boden.
It remains to mention that, in this work, an improved notation has been adopted; but, as it is only a modification of the existing system, and its advantages are self-evident, no particular explanation of it has been deemed necessary.
The book contains a far larger number of games than was at first contemplated. The Editor feels, however, that in having yielded to the advice of his Chess friends, and inserted every instructive game played by Mr. Morphy, of which he could procure a copy, he has greatly enhanced the value of the volume, without doing any injury to Mr. Morphy's reputation. These additional games are not to be found in any
other collection; they have been gathered from the various periodicals, English and Foreign, which devote their pages to the progress of Chess, and where the notes have been adopted, they have been modified in accordance with the analytical principles of the editor.
The cominents in the later pages will be found to contain a large amount of information regarding the theory of Openings, &c., which might have been expected to occupy an earlier place. The reason of this is, that as the games which stand first in the book are the important and laborious match games, the analytical notes occupy too much space to permit the addition of any large amount of book-theory. By means of the notes and variations, however, which accompany the early moves, the Editor trusts that he has rendered the present volume not only a record of matchless interest and instruction, but also a guide to the acquisition of a correct knowledge of that most important branch of modern Chess-play,--the Theory of Openings.